Mazzaferro & Meissner Receive Auburn's Highest Athletic Awards
Oct. 16, 2011
AUBURN-- Diver Dan Mazzaferro and swimmer Erica Meissner received the highest awards an Auburn student-athlete can receive, the Cliff Hare Award and the Leah Rawls Atkins Award. Mazzaferro received the Cliff Hare Award and Meissner the Leah Rawls Atkins Award during pregame ceremonies at Saturday's football game against Florida.
Both awards are given annually to senior student-athletes "who, in addition to athletic and scholarship achievement, exhibit in great degree the qualities of leadership, integrity and courage."
"Dan and Erica absolutely epitomize the very best and highest ideals of Auburn University and what it means to be a scholar-athlete. During their time at Auburn, Dan and Erica succeeded at the highest levels in the pool, in the classroom and in the community," Auburn Director of Athletics Jay Jacobs said. "They are both remarkable individuals who exemplify the Auburn Creed, and we could not be more proud of them and the first-class manner in which they represent Auburn University."
The Cliff Hare Award is given in memory of Clifford Leroy Hare, a member of Auburn's first football team, professor of chemistry, president of the Southern Conference and longtime chairman of Auburn's Committee on Intercollegiate Athletics.
The Leah Rawls Atkins Award is presented in honor of Dr. Leah Rawls Atkins, noted Alabama historian, world champion water skier and the first woman in the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame. She also served as Director of the Auburn University Center for the Arts and Humanities.
Both awards are presented in the Auburn belief that "athletics make men strong, study makes men wise, and character makes men great."Mazzaferro is the third diver to win the Cliff Hare Award, joining Caesar Garcia (2005) and Steven Segerlin (2007). Meissner, meanwhile, is the seventh women's swimmer to win the prestigious honor, joining Tracie Tips (1986), Keri Reynolds (1995), Katie Taylor (1999), Becky Short (2004), Jenni Anderson (2005), and Kara Denby (2008).
A native of Cheshire, Conn., Mazzaferro was an Olympic Trials finalist, a seven-time All-American, a three-time SEC Champion, co-SEC Male Diver of the Year, a CoSIDA Academic All-American, a team captain and the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee President. He helped lead Auburn to the 2007 and 2009 NCAA Championships and represented the United States in the World University Games.
Mazzaferro had a cumulative grade point average of 3.92 in earning a B.S. degree in Chemistry in May 2010 and has a cumulative 4.00 GPA in graduate school while earning his M.B.A. degree this fall. He was the 2010-11 SEC H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete of the Year, received a Phi Kappa Phi National Graduate Fellowship and won the President's Medal for College of Science and Mathematics.
An Auburn University Honors Scholar, he is also a member of the Chi Alpha Sigma Honor Society, Golden Key International Honor Society, Delta Epsilon Iota and National Society of Collegiate Scholars.
Meissner, a four-year letterwinner, was an All-American, 2010-11 SEC H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete of the Year, an All-SEC selection, a two-time SEC Academic Honor Roll student, a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-American and a Rhodes Scholarship finalist. Auburn was the first school to sweep the McWhorter Award recipients.
She is a member of Phi Kappa Phi, Chi Alpha Sigma, Omicron Delta Kappa and Alpha Lambda Delta Honors Fraternities and Auburn's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. The Ashburnham, Mass., native also competed nationally, swimming at the 2008 Olympic trials in the 100m Back, 200m Back, 200m IM and 400m IM.
Meissner has a 4.00 cumulative GPA and will graduate with a B.A. in Anthropology this fall and will apply for graduate school.
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